A couple months ago, a friend on Facebook raised the issue whether it was appropriate to speak of “silver linings” during the coronavirus pandemic. Whether or not it is (I think she decided it wasn’t), there are a couple of key ways in which life may change for the better as a result of the lessons we’ve learned in the last several months.
First, many people are starting to take their overall health–particularly metabolic health–more seriously, as knowledge about the connection between metabolic health and immune response has become more mainstream. (For more on this, check out my interview with Robb Wolf.)
Second, we have learned that many more jobs can–and perhaps should–be done remotely. While working from home has its own set of distractions and challenges, this will improve as kids start to go back to school, and even having kids at home with working parents (perhaps being home-schooled) can be preferable to the “open-plan” offices that have been fashionable of late in the tech sector and elsewhere. (To learn more, read, e.g., Chapter 3 of Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet”.)
It’s hard to say which of these two will make the biggest difference in terms of improving the quality of human life. And of course we don’t have to decide; we can take advantage of both. What the expansion of remote working options has done–and what I want to emphasize here–is make it possible for more people to practice “Foot Voting” as a response to creeping statism throughout the world.
Good thing, too, because during this pandemic, statism is no longer really creeping–it’s gone into a full-speed sprint. From ongoing, indefinite, job-killing lockdowns, to mask-wearing requirements of dubious justification, to governments at all levels spending on pet projects and handouts in a way that even drunken sailors could not abide–the pandemic has smoked out petty authoritarians and would-be tyrants everywhere.
As a result, here in the United States, many are now fleeing the statist “hotspots” and freedom-seeking–also electricity-seeking–people are migrating to more hospitable climes, such as Texas (Tesla, Me!), Tennessee (The Daily Wire), or Florida. Tulsa, Oklahoma made news recently, due to many California Bay-Area residents taking the city up on its offer to pay $10,000 to remote workers who relocate there. Given that these workers already stood to save quite a bit by relocating, and that there were, unfortunately, already reasons to leave California, $10k to cover relocation expenses (and then some) is apparently just the thing to help indecisive people make the leap. If Tulsa isn’t your thing, other cities are starting similar programs.
Are you currently suffering under an aspiring dictator and considering making a move? Need a nudge? My recent discussion about “Foot Voting” with Ilya Somin, about his new book, “Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom,” might be just what you need: